An archive of CWAG policy statements on local water resources.


Annexation Policy

The factors CWAG will consider include, but are not limited to, the following: the size of the annexation; the proposed use of the property; the water demand and its potential adverse effect on achieving safe yield and maintaining base flow in the Upper Verde River; the availability of new water; the density of residential development; and a comparison with likely alternatives to the annexation. View document.

Antelope Hills Golf Course

In the Prescott region, our water supplies are not currently sustainable. As this fact has gained recognition, the importance of effluent (treated wastewater) as an alternative water source has greatly increased. In spite of this increase in importance, the City of Prescott has not reevaluated an appropriate price for effluent since before 1997. As a result the city has been undercharging users of effluent, which primarily are golf courses. View document.

Big ChinoWater Ranch Pipeline Project

The document reviews four issues with the project and concludes that, despite claims to the contrary by elected officials, there is no economic or human safety need that dictates building the Big Chino Pipeline now.

CWAG has concluded that the Big Chino Water Ranch project should only proceed if key issues are resolved that assure a sustainable water future for the Upper Verde River and the Prescott Active Management Area.

View document.

CWAG Safe Yield with River Flow Policy

CWAG's mission and vision statements include a sustainable water future and maintaining flows in springs and streams. Importantly, public officials have widely called for protection of river flows particularly for the Verde River. Therefore, CWAG advocates that a specific natural outflow from the PrAMA should be established as part of the safe yield goal. View document.

CYHWRMS Feasibility Study

The Citizens Water Advocacy Group urges the communities and water providers, individually and collectively, to fully evaluate and select the options that warrant a Feasibility Level study. We further urge any options selected for further study provide for the achievement of safe yield in the Prescott Active Management Area and protection of river flows, including the base flow of the Verde River. View document.

Deep Well Annexations Comments 11/3/15


The Citizens Water Advocacy Group (CWAG) submitted comments on the Deep Well Annexations (ANX 15-001 and ANX 15-002) to be read at the final hearing on Nov. 10, 2015. CWAG's primary concern is that water used outdoors in the annexed areas will be lost to the atmosphere and thus will increase our aquifer overdraft and take us further from safe yield. 

CWAG encourages the City of Prescott to begin now to consider ordinances for new construction that will minimize use of groundwater for irrigating residential and commercial landscaping, thus extending the City’s ability to supply new development using the existing water portfolio. View pdf of full document




Ensure Growth Pays for Growth

CWAG requests the City of Prescott establish a new and detailed procedure to ensure residential growth in annexation areas will pay the full costs of water supplies, including water and wastewater infrastructure. This procedure should be completed no later than the development of the new long-term water management policy or initiation of a sizable annexation. View document.

Fees for New Growth and Policy on Water/Wastewater Impact Fees

Water impact fees or other fees on new growth in the City of Prescott should cover the full and fair costs of obtaining water sources for that growth and for providing necessary infrastructure for that growth. Water rates on existing customers should not cover any of those costs for new growth.

Water and wastewater infrastructure for new users should not be subsidized by current residents. View document.

Formation of a Water District

CWAG encourages the development of a district or districts in order to help reach safe yield in the Prescott Active Management Area and to preserve the flow of the Upper Verde River. View document.

Mitigation Plan and an Environmental Impact Statement

The Citizens Water Advocacy Group (CWAG) asks that should Prescott and Prescott Valley determine to move forward with the Big Chino water project, they work in conjunction with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to prepare a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that addresses not only the impacts to species located on the lands that the pipeline will cross, but also the species that rely on the flows of the Verde River and its associated riparian areas. View document.

North Prescott Sewer Hook-up

At present, there are approximately 1200 homes in Prescott that are not hooked up to our sewer system. Many have failing septic systems that may threaten public health and damage our aquifer.
If the bulk of these homes were hooked up to our sewer system, Prescott would have additional water supplies as a result of treating the effluent and recharging into our aquifer. Considering sewer users pay monthly fees that cover almost 90% of the treatment process, Prescott would therefore receive something of value if these homes hooked up to the sewer system.
CWAG supports projects to hook up these homes to the sewer system... View document

Population Growth

The Citizens Water Advocacy Group's (CWAG) mission solely concerns ensuring a sustainable water future. Because the availability of water can be an obstacle to population growth, a statement on population growth is useful. CWAG takes no position in favor of or in opposition to population growth. CWAG's mission, however, implies that any activity, including population growth and its concurrent demand for additional water, be consistent with a sustainable water future. View document.

Safe Yield Workgroup Report of March 2010

CWAG concludes that the most assured method of achieving safe yield in the Prescott Active Management Area would be to have a Water District or Authority with taxing, regulatory and enforcement capabilities. CWAG recognizes that the political will at the state and local level for this type of management structure is highly unlikely. In recognition of this political reality, CWAG recommends that the Coalition approve the recommendations of the Safe Yield Workgroup as presented above. View document.

Subsidies or underpricing of water

CWAG opposes local and regional subsidies or underpricing of all water, including, but not limited to, potable water and wastewater, by both public and private entities. View document.

Use of Big Chino water for safe yield

The Citizens Water Advocacy Group urges the communities and water providers, individually and collectively, to fully evaluate and select the options that warrant a Feasibility Level study. We further urge any options selected for further study provide for the achievement of safe yield in the Prescott Active Management Area and protection of river flows, including the base flow of the Verde River. View document.

Use of the Alternative Water Fee

Funds from the Alternative Water Fee, collected from water ratepayers, should be used for expenses to obtain new water sources for the sole purpose of achieving safe yield. These new water sources should specifically not be used, directly or indirectly, for residential growth. Prior expenditures from the Alternative Water Fee fund that have been directly or indirectly used to seek water for residential growth should be paid back by transfer from the Water Resource Development Fee Fund, commonly referred to as impact fees. View document.

Verde River Basin Partnership Stakeholder Participation

CWAG supports the components of Title II, the legislation that created the Partnership. Title II calls for a stakeholder group to be formed to direct research regarding the Verde Watershed and to recommend management goals. CWAG believes this stakeholder group must have voting representatives from a broad range of interests. View document.


  • "Ranchers need clean water for their stock, farmers need it for their crops, every employer needs it to stay in business, and every living thing needs it for life... The law needs to be clear to protect water quality and the rights of landowners."
    Mark Udall
  • "Water is the driver of Nature."
    Leonardo da Vinci
  • "When the well is dry, we know the worth of water."
    Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1746
  • "...and since flow of information is to spirit what water is to life, we'd best think about how to keep the pipes free and unclogged."
    Raphie Frank
  • "In an age when man has forgotten his origins and is blind even to his most essential needs for survival, water along with other resources has become the victim of his indifference."
    Rachel Carson
  • "We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one."
    Jacques Yves Cousteau
  • "Water is life's matter and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water."
    Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, 1937 Nobel Prize for Medicine
  • "Water is everywhere and in all living things; we cannot be separated from water. No water, no life. Period..."
    Robert Fulghum
  • "It's the water. Everything is driven by the water."
    Mike Thompson
  • "Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over."
    Mark Twain